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Monday, October 18, 2021

Only govt ‘unconcerned’ about snooping allegations is that of India: Chidambaram

P Chidambaram asked the government to either call for a joint parliamentary committee probe into the Pegasus snooping allegations or request the Supreme Court to appoint a sitting judge to investigate the matter.

By: PTI | New Delhi |
July 26, 2021 1:22:15 pm
Chidambaram asked prime minister to make a statement in Parliament clarifying whether there had been surveillance or not. (File)

Amid reports that French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on the Pegasus snooping allegations, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Monday attacked the Centre, saying the only government that is “unconcerned” over the issue is that of India.

French President Macron has spoken to Bennett over reports that Morocco’s security forces may have used the Pegasus spyware to snoop on his cellphones.

Macron telephoned Bennett on July 22 and asked him to ensure that “the issue was being taken seriously”, Israel’s Channel 12 has reported.

Reacting to the reports, Chidambaram tweeted, “President Macron of France called PM Bennett of Israel and demanded to know full information about alleged use of Pegasus spyware to hack phones in France, including the President’s. PM Bennett promised to come back with the “conclusions” of their own investigations,” the former home minister said.

“The only government that is unconcerned is the Government of India!” Chidambaram said.

Is it because the government was fully aware of the snooping and does not need any more information from Israel or the NSO Group, he asked.

Chidambaram on Sunday had said the government should either call for a joint parliamentary committee probe into the Pegasus snooping allegations or request the Supreme Court to appoint a sitting judge to investigate the matter.

In an interview with PTI, he had also demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi make a statement in Parliament clarifying whether there had been surveillance or not.

Last week, an international media consortium reported that over 300 verified mobile phone numbers, including of two ministers, over 40 journalists, three opposition leaders besides scores of businesspersons and activists in India, could have been targeted for hacking through the Pegasus spyware of the Israeli firm NSO Group.

The government has been denying all Opposition allegations in the matter.

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